by atartanian, published

Amplifier by atartanian Sep 26, 2015

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This telescoping print is designed to amplify an iPhone 6 internal speaker's audio. It prints all in one piece which starts off around a cubic foot large and then spirals out to be about 3' x 3' x 1.5' (1m x 1m x 500cm) large!

This is a monster print. It was designed for printing on a MakerBot Z18 and uses a large portion of the total print volume (12"x12"x18").

The print takes about 13 days of continuous printing with standard settings and consumes close to 10 lbs of filament!

If you should choose to attempt this behemoth, check out my notes in the print settings section

Print Settings










This takes a reaaaaaaally long time and is easily the most punishing stress test I've ever attempted. Make sure you get excellent adhesion between your raft and build plate and between the print and your raft. I reduced the spacing between the print and the raft to ensure a solid adhesion, at the risk of having to do more post processing work to remove the raft.

Try to keep any zippers (seams) away from the overhanging corners of the print as they will tend to blob and cause curling which over time can result in the extruder pulling the print off of the build plate.

I printed this with .2 layer height and 2 shells with a .4 mm nozzle. It is probably possible to print it with .3 layer height, which should allow it to print substantially faster, but as I've not actually tried it I can't assure that it will work.

I suggest testing your setup out with the three inner segments before attempting the full print since you really want to make sure it can print before you commit all that plastic to it. I've included an .stl of the 3 innermost segments for this purpose.

I always made sure to swap filament before the spool ran out. I was basically checking on this print at least once a day for two weeks and often more like once an hour.

That's all I can think of for advice. Good luck!

How I Designed This

Built with OpenSCAD 2015.03

This was designed using the latest stable release of OpenSCAD (2015.03). It takes advantage of the new features in that version, specifically the concat() function and the new list comprehension syntax. You may be wondering why I've not included the .scad code, or even released this as a Customizable design. The answer is that the library that I used is causing some issues that prevent me from exporting this as a complete object from OpenSCAD. As soon as it's a fully working script (when the library issues are resolved), I plan to upload the full script so that anyone can create telescopes of any cross sectional shape and size! The finished script should allow the creation of telescopes to fit any kind of phone or really any shape.

Wait, if I didn't export this from openscad, how did I get the final stl?

Blender 3D to the rescue

The answer is that I exported each of the 36 simple volumes as individual .STLs from openscad one at a time (using a bash script) and then I imported them into Blender 3D to perform the final boolean operations and the final export to a single .STL . At this point I also added some support structures to help the print adhere to the raft better.

My design process often involves going back and forth between OpenSCAD and Blender, since OpenSCAD is a brilliant tool for building parametrically and Blender is a very capable swiss army knife.

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This is amazing. Now I want to make something similar. Maybe make it round, put a mouth piece on the end so it's like a Lord of the Rings horn.

the biggest plastic waster i have ever seen

It was never meant to be a functional object, just a demonstration of a VERY large part printed on a Z18. Think of it as a stress test (which I wasn't personally purchasing filament for)

this is awesome, looks straight out from a dr. seuss book

Man that's awesome

What a waste of plastic!

This is actually ridiculous.

I'm #intrigued / is there a youtube vid??

Doesn't this seem just a tad bit overkill???

Feb 1, 2016 - Modified Feb 1, 2016
atartanian - in reply to EricLoethen

At least one tad... ;)

what is this overkill you speak of

MADE: 0 :X Whats the point to this? Does it work well?

I've already started, wish me luck! Awesome design by the way~

No bad, but big

Cool! I would like to se a video of it in action!

that's crazy, could we get a video of it in action for sound comparison?

I would print this just to play this over and over again

Wow! I didn't know they made this thing back in the 70's.

Comments deleted.

This is madness! But it is awesome!!! Congratulations! I think it would be so ideal if you change your nickname to Amplified!
I'm sure you can use this thing to shout out!

Comments deleted.

This is very cool design. Can't wait to see a video.

  1. Can we see someone wearing it? (Boom box style?) Just looking for some human scale other than chain links.
  2. I'm wondering if someone could use it as a heading aid? (quick tag it in the assisted competition! - if only you could)
  3. How about a video of the phone playing "ricola"? installed and out to hear the difference.

As always.. Thanks, for the inspiration... I might have to try something smaller.

This thing is so damn cool. Unfortunately my printers never get quiet so i am not going to print a couple of days for just this thing. No matter that thing is awesome

Lower frequencies would resonate within the horn. An 8.1 ft horn is somewhere near a low C.

Awesome design. Slice it and keep going!!!

Does it amplify the volume much?

It is quite a bit louder, but probably not enough to warrant such a large print. I designed a much smaller horn (1 foot diameter instead of 3 feet) and the smaller one amplifies just as well as this large one.

And amazingly only 26 Smart Extruders were used in this process !!

Yeah fixed mine up with nylon tape around the nozzle, hasn't broken done in about 20Kg of fillament :D

Actually only one! To my surprise and delight.

Grats on the feature!

So all it does is make the speaker louder? Cool! Very unnessisary but Cool!

Yeah, it was really designed to explore how large of a thing could be printed on a single build plate. The smaller version I'm working on will amplify the audio and also be small enough to throw in a backpack, so would be a good alternative for powered speakers while camping or anywhere else where power is limited.

Best unnecessarily large thing I've seen all week, very cool!

Sep 27, 2015 - Modified Sep 27, 2015

Very cool. Do you have a real photo of this (with the phone maybe)? Also I think you forgot to upload the test print stl.

Love your designs! and looking forward to the code once it's ready. :-)